10 of the Most Common Car Problems and What to Do About Them

The average American spends around $397 on car repairs every year. These vehicle costs are often inescapable, whether you buy a new or old car. Unfortunately, cars experience wear and tear every vehicle will eventually have some problems.These problems could be minimized, however, with good maintenance habits and the right auto parts fitted into your car for maximum performance and longevity.

So, what are the most common car problems that you’re likely to be spending that money on every year? Keep reading to find out and what you need to do about it.

1. Punctured Tire

Oh no, there are few things worse than finding out you have a flat tire and having to pull over to the side of the road to change it. This is one of the most common car problems, especially when tires are worn and susceptible to damage.

What can you do about it? Make sure you always carry a spare tire and a car jack. Additionally, change your tires every 50,000 miles.

2. Dead Car Battery

If you’ve ever had to jump-start your car, you know that having a bad or dead car battery is no fun. Batteries have a lifespan (usually between 3-5 years, or 50,000 miles). If you have dim lights, problems starting your car, or a stereo that’s stopped working, you’re probably dealing with a dying battery.

Take the leap and purchase a new battery. If your battery isn’t very old, check the alternator as problems with the alternator can severely affect your battery’s life.

3. Worn Brake Pads

This is one of those common car problems which are extremely dangerous. Worn brake pads will make a squeaking sound. You might also notice that you have to push them very hard in order to brake effectively.

This is a problem you should see to immediately. Take your car to the mechanic and have the brake pads inspected and replaced.m

4. Shaky Steering Wheel

Does your steering wheel feel like it’s vibrating in your hands and shaking a lot? It shouldn’t. It should be stable and easy to control and maintain. A shaky steering wheel is a sign of worn wheel bearings, unbalanced tires, or worn suspensions.

If your wheel is shaking, you’ll need to first identify the problem before applying the solution.

5. Engine Overheating

Don’t wait for your car to start smoking and sputter to a halt before realizing that it’s way too hot. You have a temperature gauge on your dashboard and you should keep an eye on it. If the thermostat is in the red zone, your car is too hot and the engine is overheating.

You can solve this by topping up the engine coolant if it’s low (always wait for the vehicle to cool down completely before doing this).

6. Smokey Exhaust

Huge plumes of smoke bursting from your exhaust pipe is never a good sign. A little bit of gas released from your exhaust is normal, but excessive smoke is a sign that something is wrong with the engine.

If the clouds of smoke are white, it’s a sign that your coolant is leaking. If the smoke is black, the engine might be running too rich in fuel. And lastly, if the smoke is thick and blue-ish in color, oil is in your combustion chambers.

Take your car to Milton Mechanic for a service to identify what’s wrong.

7. Low AC Cooling

Are those sweltering summer days unbearable because your AC just isn’t doing its job properly? Ineffective cooling is one of the most common car AC problems and is usually due to an AC gas leak.

If it’s not a gas leak, then it’s likely a clogged or broken compressor. You’ll have to replace your compressor or clean it and unclog it.

8. Excessive Oil Consumption or Leak

If you’re noticing huge oil patches underneath your car after pulling out of a parking lot, you’re likely dealing with an oil leak. Excessive oil consumption is also a problem, and if you’re finding your car is thirsty for oil, you’ll need to figure out the issue.

You may be dealing with a clogged filter, or corrosion on the engine if you haven’t changed the oil in a while. Patch up any leaks and be sure to check and change your oil frequently to keep your car running smoothly.

9. Pulling to One Side

One of the 10 most common car problems is when your car pulls on one side. If you remove your hands from the steering wheel for a moment and your car veers to the left or right, then you know the feeling. Or, if you have to put in extra effort to keep your car in a straight line.

The good news? It’s nothing serious. Your car just isn’t aligned — all the wheels aren’t pointing in a linear way. Take your car to a mechanic to get your wheels aligned. For good car maintenance, wheel alignment should be checked every 4000 to 5000 miles.

10. Faulty Starter Motor

You know that awful sound when you turn your key and all you get is a terrible rattling noise instead of the smooth sound of the purring engine. Starter components can stop functioning properly due to wear and tear.

The first parts to go are usually the starter relay, solenoid, and motor. If you hear the rattling noise when you turn your car on, then you’re dealing with these old and worn parts.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to replace your starter motor. While it’s an expensive fix, a good starter motor should last a decade.

Look Out for the Most Common Car Problems

Once you know what the signs are for the most common car problems you’ll know how to recognize them early and get them fixed before severe damage occurs. Regular services and maintenance of your vehicle is the best way to avoid most of these issues.

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